Ancient Monuments

History on the Ground

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Three bowl barrows on Whitepits Down

A Scheduled Monument in Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire

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Latitude: 51.1422 / 51°8'31"N

Longitude: -2.2307 / 2°13'50"W

OS Eastings: 383955.574705

OS Northings: 138123.903015

OS Grid: ST839381

Mapcode National: GBR 1VX.6W1

Mapcode Global: VH97V.9K28

Entry Name: Three bowl barrows on Whitepits Down

Scheduled Date: 21 January 1992

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1012164

English Heritage Legacy ID: 12325

County: Wiltshire

Civil Parish: Kingston Deverill

Traditional County: Wiltshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Wiltshire

Church of England Parish: The Deverills and Horningsham

Church of England Diocese: Salisbury


The monument includes three bowl barrows set below the crest of a steep
south-facing slope overlooking the upper Wylye Valley. The western barrow
mound is 13m across and 0.7m high. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which
material was quarried during construction of the monument. This has become
partly infilled over the years but survives as an earthwork 1.5m wide and 0.5m
deep. A hollow in the centre of the mound is evidence of partial excavation
of the site by Colt-Hoare in the 19th century. Abutting the north-east side
of the ditch is a small bowl barrow 8m across and 0.5m high.
The ditch surrounding the mound survives as a buried feature c.2m wide on all
but the south-west side of the mound. Some 10m to the south-east is a further
bowl barrow. The mound is 9m across and 0.4m high while a ditch 1m wide and
0.3m deep can be seen to the south-east and survives as a buried feature

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Bowl barrows, the most numerous form of round barrow, are funerary monuments
dating from the late Neolithic period to the late Bronze Age, with most
examples belonging to the period 2400-1500 bc. They were constructed as
earthen or rubble mounds, sometimes ditched, which covered single or multiple
burials. They occur either in isolation or grouped as cemeteries and often
acted as a focus for burials in later periods. Often superficially similar,
although differing widely in size, they exhibit regional variations in form
and a diversity of burial practices. There are over 10,000 surviving bowl
barrows recorded nationally (many more have already been destroyed), occurring
across most of lowland Britain. Their ubiquity and their tendency to occupy
prominent locations makes them a major historic element in the modern
landscape and their considerable variation of form and longevity as a monument
type provide important information on the diversity of beliefs and social
organisations amongst early prehistoric communities. They are particularly
representative of their period and a substantial proportion of surviving
examples are considered worthy of protection.

The Whitepits Down barrows survive well and, as a group, have potential for
the recovery of archaeological evidence and environmental remains relating to
the nature of Bronze Age society in the area and the landscape in which they

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
'Wiltshire Archaeological Magazine' in Re: Whitepits Down Barrow, , Vol. 56, (), 182

Source: Historic England

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